The Clients contacted Cecil Baker + Partners to reconfigure and remodel the top floor of a prominent Philadelphia high-rise into an urban pied-a-terre. The forty-five story apartment building, overlooking Washington Square Park and its surrounding neighborhoods, provided a modern shell for this truly contemporary renovation. Originally configured as three penthouse units, the 8,700 sf interior, as well as 2,500 square feet of terrace space, was to become a single residence with sweeping views of the city in all directions.
The Client’s mission was to create a city home for collecting and displaying contemporary glass crafts. Their stated desire was to cast an urban home that was, in itself, a gallery. While they enjoy a very vital family life, this home was targeted to their urban activities - entertainment being a central element.
The living areas are designed to be open and to flow into each other, with pockets of secondary functions. At large social events, guests feel free to access all areas of the penthouse, including the master bedroom suite. A main gallery was created in order to house unique, travelling art shows.
Stemming from their desire to entertain, the penthouse was built around the need for elaborate food preparation. Cooking would be visible from several entertainment areas with a “show” kitchen, provided for their renowned chef. Secondary preparation and cleaning facilities were tucked away.
The architects crafted a distinctive residence that is framed around the gallery experience, while also incorporating softer residential moments. Cecil Baker + Partners embraced every element of the new penthouse design beyond those normally associated with an architect’s sphere, from all material selections, furniture selections, furniture design, and art placement.
Barry Halkin and Todd Mason Photography